My Accounting Experience


By Brian McGuire

Growing up as a kid, playing football and watching the Steelers on T.V., I always dreamed of being a professional football player. In my dreams, I went to Penn State on a football scholarship and ended up being drafted by the Steelers. However, as I started to grow up, I realized that playing in the NFL was not in my future and I needed to choose a new more plausible career path.

One part of my childhood dream that did come true was attending Penn State University. Growing up, I was a big Penn State fan and really enjoyed the weekends my family would drive up to State College for football games. So, my senior year of high school when I was accepted into the Penn State Business School as an accounting major, I was thrilled. Despite never taking any accounting classes I chose accounting as my major because I had always enjoyed working with numbers and my dad had worked in public accounting for more than 25 years at that point and he always told me positive things about the field.

During my academic career at Penn State, I have taken a wide variety of accounting classes, starting with an introductory course that is meant to weed out the number of accounting majors, all the way up to advanced tax and audit courses this past spring. However, I was consistently told that the only way to “truly learn” accounting was through real-life experience. So to “truly learn” accounting I knew I needed to get an internship that would allow me to a get hands-on experience. I made it a goal of mine going into this past school year.

To accomplish this goal, I attended various career fairs and recruiting events hosted at Penn State. At these events, I spoke with countless recruiters for firms of all different sizes and all different locations throughout the country about potential internship opportunities. Throughout this process, there was one company that stood out to me, and that was Schneider Downs. Schneider Downs offered everything I was looking for in an internship, and so I was very excited when I received my internship offer in late October.

At the time of receiving the offer, the internship seemed like a long way off; but before I knew it, the first week was under way. Despite not knowing exactly what to expect going in, I was very excited to get out into the “field” and finally have the opportunity to put to use the seemingly endless number of years I have spent in school.

After the first week of orientation, I’ve had many opportunities to work in the “field” serving a variety of clients and performing a variety of different tasks. Throughout each of these opportunities, I have been treated not as an intern only doing unimportant busy-work but as a staff member getting hands-on experience with different areas. Throughout these experiences in the past 8 weeks, I can honestly say I’ve learned more about accounting than I have in all my years of school. Overall, I have had a great experience this summer and can thank everyone at Schneider Downs for that.

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This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax related matter.

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